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    Azkals face Myanmar in dual-purpose friendly

    Feb 5, 2013
    Filipino-Belgian Jeff Christiaens is among the younger Azkals expected to lead the squad in the SEA Games. Jerome Ascano

    A Philippine men’s football team featuring several members of the youth pool tries to hit two birds with one stone when it takes on Myanmar in Yangon in its first friendly of the year on Wednesday.

    The Azkals and White Angels collide at 6:30 p.m. (Manila time) in a dual-purpose match intended for the preparations of both the senior squad’s Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup qualifiers campaign next month and the 23-and-under team’s stint in the Southeast Asian Games in December.

    It will be the first match between the Philippines and Myanmar since the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup group stage in Thailand last November.

    OJ Porteria, Jeff Christiaens, Jason de Jong, Marwin and Marvin Angeles, and Matt Uy are expected to compose the core of the 23-and-under team for the biennial meet late this year.

    The two other players eligible for the SEA Games squad are European-based standouts Neil Etheridge and Manny Ott.

    Etheridge, who plays for Fulham in the English Premier League, is expected to be the man between the posts, while Germany-based Ott is slated to start at midfield.

    Phil and James Younghusband, Chieffy Caligdong, Rob Gier, Patrick Reichelt, are expected to join them in the starting XI.

    The Azkals, whose 2-0 win over Myanmar at the Supachalasai Stadium last November secured their second-straight entry to the Suzuki Cup semifinals, will be without one of that game’s goal scorers in Angel Guirado. Also out of the lineup are Denis Wolf, Paul Mulders, Dennis Cagara, and Ray Jonsson.

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    Ed Sacapaño, Chris Greatwich, Ian Araneta, Ref Cuaresma, Roel Gener, and Boogie Margarse complete the 19-man Azkals lineup against Myanmar, which will be missing the services of start right winger Kyi Lin.

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    Filipino-Belgian Jeff Christiaens is among the younger Azkals expected to lead the squad in the SEA Games. Jerome Ascano
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